We create program evaluation plans, develop tools to gather information, analyze results, develop communication tools for sharing results and complete full program evaluations.

Many evaluation methods and processes can be used.

The Rainbow Framework organizes the range of tasks often undertaken in evaluation into Manage, Define, Frame, Describe, Understand Causes, Synthesise, and Report & Support Use.

The Rainbow Framework can help you plan an evaluation activity by prompting you to think about a series of key questions. It can be used to develop a complete evaluation plan, or to undertake a discrete task such as documenting agreements in the evaluation Terms of Reference.


Decide how the evaluation or monitoring system will be managed, including stakeholders, roles and decision making processes, and ensure processes for these are transparent and well managed.


Develop a description (or access an existing version) of what is to be evaluated and how it is understood to work.


Set the parameters of the evaluation – its purposes, key evaluation questions and the criteria and standards to be used.


Collect and retrieve data to answer descriptive questions about the activities of the project/program/policy, the various results it has had, and the context in which it has been implemented.

Understand Causes

Collect and analyze data to answer questions about what has produced outcomes and impacts that have been observed.


Combine data to form an overall assessment of the merit or worth of the intervention, or to summarize evidence across several evaluations.

Report and Support Use

Develop and present findings in ways that are useful for the intended users of the evaluation and support them to make use of them.


Source: BetterEvaluation (2014) BetterEvaluation Rainbow Framework and Planning Tool. Retrieved from www.betterevaluation.org